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Trying to Decide on 1st Transmitter

#1
Hi All,

First question for you kind folks here.

Am new to the hobby and am getting me and my two sons into this as well. We have the old FM version of the Supercub (3 channel). We want to get a good programmable TX that will allow us to do both planes and helicopters. Spektrum seems to be the brand in MN (twin cities area) and am trying to decide between the DX6i or the DX8.

I hate to buy one model to only want to upgrade in short order, but don't really understand which features on the 8 justify the cost. On the other hand, if I go with the 6i, I could get a few controllers which I know we will want soon if we all go out to the field at the same time.

I am not sure which way to go, and having no prior experience, I can't decide.

For a family of four with three enthusiasts, would it make more sense to go with the 6i (or several) or get one 8 and slowly add them over time?

Any other recommendations are welcome as well.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

jetpackninja

More combat please...
Mentor
#2
Me and my boys all have the dx6i and have not yet been feeling a lack of features.

The 8 would be cool if you desire to have more than 10 models bound to one radio. The backlighted screen is cool, and it has a vibrate feature for some of the alerts. If you don't have a need for the telemetry options that the 8 offers, I'd stay with the 6
 

ananas1301

Crazy flyer/crasher :D
#3
I agree with jetpack.

Just to add my 2 cents: Flying alone, or just one person flying at a time will become boring after a while. You want to have some people or a local community to fly with (at least thats how it is with me) But if you have the possibility to give each of your sons a further DX6i as well, do that because otherwise everyone is going to start fighting about the models and so on and most importantly all of you can fly at the same time. With 2 radios you can go for combat, which is always really exciting !
 

bicyclemonkey

Flying Derp
Mentor
#5
I started with the DX6i and moved up to the DX8 when I ran out of model memory. I then got a Turnigy 9x...They weren't out at the time but If i had it to do over again I'd just get a Turnigy 9x to start with.
 
#6
Did you consider the New Dx7s coming out? Is a little more than the Dx6 ($90.00 more) but it has all the same Telemetry as the Dx8 so you won't have to worry about out growing it anytime soon
 
#7
The Dx8 has a much more technical interface where as the Dx6i is very user friendly. Google told me so.
I have a Dx8 and I don't find it hard to use...I never own a Dx6 but I before I had the Dx8 I had/have a JR X2720 its identical to the older Dx7 heli version, but a FM version and that is A lot harder to program.
 

pgerts

Old age member
Mentor
#8
Why not start with a DX6 or two? Wait until the need for more features comes and then decide if the DX8 is enough or you get the need for a DX10 or another brand of equipment. The DX6i has most (all) features you need for trainers. If you are getting into competing with gliders or scale models then you will probably need something totally different.
I have an old DX7 and a new DX8 but i am using DX6i often in the club as a tuting radio.
 
#9
I have the DX6i and I am happy with it. I got it used for about half the price, and it's money well spent. Very easy to use, I figured almost all without a manual.
 
#10
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Sorry for my delayed response. Was out of town this weekend getting our cabin ready for winter - and did not have internet access. A sad time for us Minnesotan's...have to put the boats away...but on the positive side, almost time to get the snowmobiles out...

At this point I am leaning towards getting one DX6i (used if possible) and a simulator (Phoenix brand) to get all 3 of us moving forward with our flying skills. Took out the Supercub yesterday and I proceeded to pile drive it into the ground in less than 3 seconds. But at least we get to practice our repairs skills now, so that will be fun. I am glad that I broke it and not one of the boys.

But to confuse matters regarding the transmitter, I have seen two other options that are much cheaper - the 9X and one other Dave Powers recommends...both have price points significantly cheaper. Will have to do a little more studying before making the commitment.

Thanks again for your comments!
 

jetpackninja

More combat please...
Mentor
#11
RC Dad- You haven't given the details of your crash but it is almost universally recommended to pull the ACT sensors out of the plane and throw them in the trash. At least disconnect them. ACT = Auto CRASH Technology. I love the cub.
 
#13
Let me start off by saying, it was way too windy for the plane...we did get four relatively successful flights in prior to the crash. We were sitting on top of a steep hill with a lot of wind so we were trying to just toss it into the wind with very little thrust to see if we could glide it down to the ground. The thought was to see what the wind would do. The plane was not more than 30 feet off the ground and it just dove straight down...I have a feeling the root cause was user error on my part. But at least I got off the throttle prior to impact. Didn't break the prop, but it bent the shaft and tore the wing apart right in the middle (where it attaches to the top of the fuselage)....Chalk this one up to we should have known better...
 

jetpackninja

More combat please...
Mentor
#15
Awesome- the bomb dropper is basically the same one that Josh and Dave used in the original bomb drop challenge episode.
Cost around three dollars to make :)
 

SunShine

not crazy, just stupid
#16
First of: Hello and welcome to the RC community! :D
...I hate to buy one model to only want to upgrade in short order, but don't really understand which features on the 8 justify the cost. On the other hand, if I go with the 6i, I could get a few controllers which I know we will want soon if we all go out to the field at the same time...
At your level the DX6i is plenty good, the DX8 does have some nice features, but the things that cost(the DSMX module and telemetry) are things that you don't really need in the first couple of years, since most people usually don't buy big expensive models, and they usualy dont go flying on huge RC-airshows in their first years.
also, to could use the advantages of the DX8 you would need DSMX receivers, which are very expensive. you could just use the one included, but it gets annoying having to take out the receiver and Re-binding every time you want to use another plane. So dont just look at the TX costs, but also the RX. in your situation i would recommend a Turnigy 9X, it may not be very user friendly, and you will not want to use it on 5m 3D planes, but on some 1-2m foam planes its perfect, you will be able to learn how to use expo, dual rates, flaps, mixing, throttle curves and so much more. and the receivers only cost 9USD.
And if you ever get a big model that you just don't want to crash because you flew it too far away and lost signal, than you can buy a new module for it and poof, its as reliable as a spectrum.
here is a in depth review of the 9x : http://www.rcmodelreviews.com/turnigy9xv2review.shtml
on the same site you can find instructions on how to swap modules.
Final word: if you go with the spectrum, (something i could understand very well since than you can fly the great ultra micros) than i strongly recommend you to search the internet for so called clone-receivers, these are the same as the ones spectrum makes, but cost usually only around $5-10.
Final Final words: I just noticed that you are thinking of buying multiple transmitters, you could buy a x9 and a dx6i and then you have the best of both worlds(cheap receivers and Horizon hobby exclusives (ultra micros)), especially if you are in a family, because than you can trade and share transmitters depending on what plane who is wanting to fly.
hope this helps, if anything is unclear, please ask.
-A
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#17
I am also looking at getting my son another xmtr. The Dx5e he has is not reliable at all. Just yesterday he busted up a stick plane that rally wasn't far at all.

If the Dx6i ends up not having the same problems as we had before with the Dx5e then I would say the benefits are:
1) Spektrum has good customer relations and they're in the US meaning less shipping charges should you need to send it off.
2) You can hook up a trainer cord between the Spektrum radios. I don't think you can with the Turnigy.
3) Parkzone sells quite a number of Bind-n-Fly (BNF's) aircraft that you will be able to fly with that xmtr.
4) Uses the newer more robust DSMX technology.

But the Turnigy 9x does have some benefits too:
1) Way less expensive.
2) More available channels.
3) Very user friendly. See FliteTest's review and accompanying forum support.
4) Inexpensive receivers can be found for this.
 
#18
Thanks Sunshine and JimCR120, appreciate the perspective and links to the reviews.

I am torn - I like the value of the 9X, but it seems the Spektrum platform is very popular in my area. Will keep studying for a while until I can't stand it and will decide. Really getting the itch to get a simulator going and want to have the TX we are going to be using to practice with on the sim...

Thanks again!
 

ryramZ

Junior Member
#19
The dx6i will keep you happy for quite awhile, especially if you get a couple for the boys. It's a great radio that has plenty of features to keep up with your progress. The simulator is an extremely wise decision as well if you crash all you have to do is hit the 200.00 button and a new plane appears, awesome.
 

FlyingMonkey

Stuck in Sunny FL
Staff member
Admin
#20
I believe you can put a spektrum compatible module in the Turnigy radio. If that's the case, you can start with it, and if you decide to switch to Spektrum, then you don't need to buy all new receivers. You can just bind to the new radio and go.